Her Majesty's League is a custom setting for the Savage Worlds roleplaying ruleset that features a steam-punk civilization occupying abandoned alien cities found floating in Saturn's upper atmosphere. It was directly inspired by the short film, Wanderers, by Erik Wernquist and is heavily influenced by Victorian-era steam-punk tropes.
HMLETS was selected as the setting for CthluhuCon 2014.
An Overly Not-So-Short History Edit
The Flashly Lights Edit
Sometime in the late 18th century, Sir Alfred Von Hillscheimer happened to be gazing longingly at the ringed planet after a late-night binge of malt liquor and fried fish. During this time of half-drunken stargazing, he noticed a brilliant flash from the dark side of planet. Unfortunately, he mistook the blink of light for drops of booze he accidentally sneezed over his telescope earlier that night, and ultimately, he contributed less than nothing to history.
However his apprentice, Telly Nightschkeemer, overheard Sir Alfred babbling on about the ringed planet after escorting his mentor to his bedchamber to sleep off the night's binge. At that time, Telly retreated back to the telescope, cleaned the lens, and studied the flashing lights in great detail.
The Detector Edit
Convinced he had "discovered" something important, Telly took notes on what he saw and scribbled images of the planet in his notebook. He then "borrowed" his master's telescope and retreated to his home with it (later telling Sir Alfred he had lost the telescope in a bet to a stranger during the previous night's drinking.
After spending nearly a fortnight studying the flashing lights on the night side of Saturn, Telly presented his notes and findings to the Gentlemanly Association of Stellar-Educated Scholars (GASES). The association then promptly had Telly Nightschkeemer murdered in his sleep so they could present the findings to Her Majesty, the Queen themselves.
Sir Alfred discovered his telescope while packing his deceased apprentice's things, but for some unknown reason, mistook it for a cigar hold.
Having procured financing from Her Majesty, the association then started building the most massive telescope ever built by mankind - the Royal GASES Detector. It was within the second hour of the detector's operation that GASES confirmed the flashing lights indeed seemed to come from a city floating within the clouds of Saturn.
(Worthy of note - the first hour of the detector's operation was spent with the telescope pointed at the Queen's handmaiden's chamber windows).
The Delivery System (Or, the Solar Gun) Edit
Once the Floating City had been discovered, plans for its exploitation... err, exploration!!... began in earnest. Now elevated to a position of quite high esteem, GASES made use of its nearly-unlimited funding to start construction on what they deemed as a Delivery system to Saturn. After nearly five whole minutes of scribbling on cocktail napkins and after consulting a grand total of zero experts outside of the association, GASES determined that the only feasible manner of delivering a man to Saturn is by firing him out of a giant gun.
Madam Victoria BonnePowder designed the first generation of Delivery Projectile Systems (DPS, though always referred to behind her backs as the Sun Guns). The idea behind the DPS pretty much works as imagined. It involved a manned capsule that is loaded into the firing chamber of a giant cannon, which is then angled up and down depending on where the cannon-naut is intending to travel. Multiple capsules may be chained together in a fashion quite similar to a locomotive. The train of capsules is then topped with a bullet-shaped front assembly that houses the furnace, the steamworks and electrical generators, and a big bag of breatheable air (plus a cabinet of tea and crumpets).
(It should be noted that Earth prior to the invention of the Sun Gun had two moons. Not implying that the creation of the Sun Gun is in any way related to such a random piece of trivia or anything... but this just seemed like an awfully relevant location to put this seemingly-random piece of information)
The Great Royal Excursion to the Heavenly City Edit
A great call reverberated through out Her Majesty's kingdom as a result of the completed delivery system to the mysterious Saturn city. Volunteers were enlisted from the populace to travel to this heavenly floating city (thus named by the Queen once she realized no sane person would ever volunteer to shoot themselves out of a giant gun). When a grand total of two volunteers came forth, other citizens were then involuntarily volunteered.
The first train to Saturn was fired in the mid-1800s. Followed immediately by the second and third. After the ninth train was fired, Madam BonnePowder realized she needed to put iron sights on the Sun Gun's barrel so the engineers could better aim and cease shooting people into the sun.
The very first train arrived at Saturn in 1892. Nicknamed Jules, after Madam BonnePowder's recently-deceased pet hamster, the train carried 1 Royal Overseer, 2 engineers, and about a half-dozen unskilled laborers. Using the telescopes mounted on the hull of the Jules, Royal Overseer Don A Tello discovered that the floating city appeared to be a network of hexagons assembled together in a geometrically-uniform shape held aloft by giant balloons.
After receiving permission via telegraph from GASES back on Earth, Overseer Tello gave the order to land on the north-most hexagon - one of only two hexagon attached at opposite ends of the floating city that were not held aloft by balloons (This decision was aided by the fact that a giant bullseye had been painted on each of those platforms. It seemed logical to land there, Overseer Tello was once heard saying before downing another mug of ale. For courage.).
The Jules landed on the floating city on the northern platform on December 12th, 1892.
The Floating City Edit
Colonization of the Floating City began in earnest in January of 1893. Thanks to Madam BonnePowder's relentlessness, a steady stream of delivery trains arrived at Saturn almost per week. Within the first year, nearly 300 people touched down on the landing platforms (nearly all directly-center on the bullseye thanks to the iron sights BonnePowder installed!).